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  • By the time the guests had come, including the inevitable late couple for whom the others waited with painful amiability, a great gray emptiness had replaced the purple swirling in Babbitt’s head, and he had to force the tumultuous greetings suitable to a host on Floral Heights.

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as in: couldn't hear over the tumult Define
loud noise -- usually created by an unrestrained crowd or some kind of confusion
as in: tumult in financial markets Define
confusion or disorder -- often noisy
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